For over a decade, Andrew “bunnie” Huang, one of the world’s most esteemed hackers, has shaped the fields of hacking and hardware, from his cult-classic book Hacking the Xbox to the open-source laptop Novena and his mentorship of various hardware startups and developers. In The Hardware Hacker, Huang shares his experiences in manufacturing and open hardware, creating an illuminating and compelling career retrospective.
Huang’s journey starts with his first visit to the staggering electronics markets in Shenzhen, with booths overflowing with capacitors, memory chips, voltmeters, and possibility. He shares how he navigated the overwhelming world of Chinese factories to bring chumby, Novena, and Chibitronics to life, covering everything from creating a Bill of Materials to choosing the factory to best fit his needs.
Through this collection of personal essays and interviews on topics ranging from the legality of reverse engineering to a comparison of intellectual property practices between China and the United States, bunnie weaves engineering, law, and society into the tapestry of open hardware.
With highly detailed passages on the ins and outs of manufacturing and a comprehensive take on the issues associated with open source hardware, The Hardware Hacker is an invaluable resource for aspiring hackers and makers.
Chapter 1: Made in China
Chapter 2: Inside Three Very Different Factories
Chapter 3: The Factory Floor
Chapter 4: Gongkai Innovation
Chapter 5: Fake Goods
Chapter 6: The Story of Chumby
Chapter 7: Novena: Building My Own Laptop
Chapter 8: Chibitronics: Creating Circuit Stickers
Chapter 9: Hardware Hacking
Chapter 10: Biology and Bioinformatics
Chapter 11: Selected Interviews
“A tour-de-force that combines the many genius careers of one of the world’s great hacker-communicators: practical, theoretical, philosophical and often mind-blowing. Huang isn’t just explaining how to make things, he’s peeling back the roofs of factories, the surfaces of microcontrollers, and even the human genome. The secret workings of our world are laid bare and the levers by which they may be moved are put in the reader’s hands.”
—Cory Doctorow, Author of Little Brother and technology activist
“Fascinating, insightful, and practical. Curious how the devices in our daily lives come into being? Want to manufacture your own project? In this well-written book, Bunnie describes the ins and outs of manufacturing process in China. A very entertaining and informative read.”
—Mitch Altman, Inventor of TV-B-Gone
“Bunnie is the ultimate tour guide of hardware hacking as it stands today, with an eye towards the sublime art of how things are /really/ made. The Hardware Hacker will take you on a journey through the factories of the world, covering both technical & ethical implications of the ‘stuff’ we manufacture and buy.”
—Limor “ladyada” Fried, Founder & Engineer Adafruit Industries
Andrew “bunnie” Huang is a hacker, maker, and open hardware activist. He holds a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from MIT, is the author of Hacking the Xbox (No Starch Press) and The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen, and has served as a technical advisor for various hardware startups and MAKE Magazine.